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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

23 Nov '11

Fear and Faith

Posted by T.J. Addington in courage, faith, money matters, spiritual formation, The heart, trust
Fear and faith are two sides of the same coin, the first driven by Satan and the second driven by the Holy Spirit. Our world is driven by fear: fear that we will not have enough, of illness, of losing our job, of people who intimidate us and the list could go on and on. Each of us has our vulnerabilities where we carry our own personal fears. Fear can keep us from stepping into all that God made us to be, can keep us from pressing into areas of our lives that need attention, and can cause us to to lie and bend the truth. Fear is the currency of our world and is the driving force behind much advertising (consider the ads for gold and silver).


In a twist of irony, much of our drive for more and more is driven by our fears that we will not have enough. However, the more we have the more we have to worry about losing. I am always sad when those who have plenty cannot let go of it out of fear that they won't have enough. They often live with more fear than those who have little.


In a radically different sense, faith is the currency of God's kingdom. Faith in God's ability to redeem, to provide, to deal with the fears we have and to provide for us our basic needs. The writer of Hebrews says that "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that the exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6)." All of the heroes of Hebrews 11 did what they did by faith. Faith that they could trust God, faith that they could follow God and faith in the sovereignty of God.


Think of a typical week. How many times during a week do we make unconscious choices between fear and worry (another word for fear) and faith? Our lives are full of those choices. In fact, think about this: Every worry or fear is a potential faith builder if we choose to simply pray and trust God in that situation. When we get to heaven we are going to be astonished when we think back about our petty worries in the face of the almighty God whose power is unlimited, love unrivaled and storehouse of provision so massive. 


Because faith is the currency of God's kingdom, our faith brings God's favor. Hebrews 11:6 above says that "he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear...who by worrying can add a single hour to his life...So do not worry saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:25-34)."


The command "fear not," is the most often repeated command in Scripture. Faith is the currency of the kingdom. The almighty, sovereign God who owns the entire universe says to us, "Trust Me." I know your needs. "Trust Me." Try that with your current worries and remember that every fear and worry is an opportunity to grow your faith and trust. It is that faith and trust that gives us the peace of mind that God promises. It is a direct result of living in  faith rather than in fear. We make the choice. God calls us to faith.